About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed National Handgun Safety Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Course Completion Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

Unloading a magazine

Semi-automatics usually have cartridges stored in a magazine.

To unload a semi-automatic pistol:

  • Point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Put the safety on if it is not already on.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard.
  • Release the magazine and take it out of the pistol.
  • Remove the cartridges from the magazine.
  • Pull the slide all the way to the rear and then let it go forward to eject any cartridge that may be in the chamber. Repeat this several times to make sure the chamber is empty.
  • Make sure the pistol is empty by visually checking both the chamber and the magazine.